Game release dates should probably be phrased as “I don’t yet know why the game won’t be ready in July.” I’m changing this for Gunpoint to “I don’t yet know why the game won’t be ready by Christmas.”
It’s going well now, actually. But here are the two things I didn’t know when I predicted July:
- Rewriting the collision system, which I had planned for, would take an amount of time I had not planned for. It would also send me quietly mad on Twitter.
- Integrating new art and animation, which I had planned for, leaves the game pretty much unplayable until it’s done. This, I hadn’t planned for.
2 means I can’t make much progress on the game’s levels while John is still working on the character art, because you can’t make what you can’t play. He’s burning through it super fast, though, and it’s starting to look awesome in-game. The player character, Conway, has just the right mix of super-spy suave and silliness. Here’s one of my favourite animations for him so far:
All the basic movements are already done for the player character, so all I really need is for one guard type to be jumpable-on and punchable-in-the-face. That’ll be enough to make actual levels that work, even if a lot of the poses and sprites are placeholder. As before, I really have no clue how long that part will take.
Meanwhile Fabian has been creating a gorgeous logo concept – one that combines an elegantly simple icon I can’t believe I didn’t think of, but in the context of a sumptuous image that gets across the rainy city atmosphere. I’m not quite ready to show that yet.
80% of development takes 10% of the time you think it will, and 20% takes 800%. It’s much easier and nicer working without fixed deadlines, so I’m not worried about how long it takes. There’s no feature-creep: my idea of what the finished game will be has been fixed for a long time now, and we’re getting significantly closer to it all the time.
So let’s say Christmas, and I’ll tell you why it isn’t Christmas this Christmas. Sorry it’s been a while, by the way – follow @GunpointGame on Twitter for more regular updates and face-palming.